2014 Bakken Budgets

By The Bakken magazine staff | January 20, 2014

A new year means new budgets, and for the Bakken, that means big numbers. The following is a breakdown of the 2014 spending and operational plans of some Williston Basin operators both large and small.

Note: Numbers reflect available budget numbers at press time

Marathon Oil Corp.
$1 Billion
Of the company’s 2014 North American operational budget total of $9 billion, Marathon will spend $1 billion in the Bakken shale for the year. The company intends to increase current rig activity by 20 percent. For 2014, drilling plans include 80 to 90 net wells or 200 to 220 gross wells (75 to 85 of which will be company-owned). Marathon intends to invest $3.6 billion in the Eagle Ford Shale of south Texas.

Continental Resources Inc.
$2.2 Billion
The largest leaseholder in the Williston Basin with 1.2 million net acres (Q3 2013), Continental Resources plans to spend $2.2 billion in the Williston Basin to develop its assets. The company will spend an additional $300 million on exploratory efforts in the Williston Basin as well. The company estimated that by the end of 2013, 98 percent of its derisked acreage would be held by production (HBP), and that 96 percent of its derisked and exploratory acreage would be HBP by 2017.

SM Energy Co.
$350 Million

The Denver-based exploration and production company will spend $350 million of its $1.9 billion 2014 budget in the Bakken and Three Forks shale plays. Of the $350 million planned for the Williston Basin, SM Energy will invest roughly 80 percent of that capital in its already operating properties, resulting in 45 gross flowing completions using three drilling rigs.

Enerplus Corp.
$760 Million
Enerplus Corp. has budgeted for a spending program of $760 million for 2014, an 11 percent increase from 2013. Roughly $506.7 million of that will be used to continue activities in the Bakken and Three Forks plays. The Fort Berthold region will continue to see Enerplus’ main focus. Roughly 20 net wells will be drilled in 2014.

Triangle Petroleum Corp.
$430 to $465 Million
The Denver-based firm with three main subsidiaries, TUSA (the drilling arm of the company), RockPile Energy Services and Caliber Midstream, has proposed a 2014 budget of $430 million to $465 million. No matter the amount, Triangle intends to spend its entire 2014 budget in the Williston Basin. Sixty-six percent will be put toward drilling, 26 percent toward land spending and 4 percent will be spent on both infrastructure and RockPile Energy Services.

Kodiak Oil and Gas Corp.
$940 Million
The exploration and production firm with primary assets in the North Dakota portion of the Williston Basin will invest $940 million in 2014. The investment should increase year-over-year production volumes for the company by 45 percent. Roughly $890 million of the total 2014 budget will be put towards the drilling and completion of 100 net wells. Another $50 million will be spent on infrastructure build-out and small acreage acquisitions. In 2014, the company has budget for seven drilling rigs and one full-time completions crew working 24/7 with another crew possible on an as-needed basis.

Baytex Energy Corp.
$82.5 Million
The Canadian exploration and production company has allocated $485 million for its 2014 budget. Roughly $82.5 million will be spent on Baytex’s Bakken and Three Forks assets. The company intends to drill 15 gross wells.

American Eagle Energy
$65 Million
The Colorado-based exploration and production firm may not have the budget of Marathon Oil, but in 2014 it will invest $65 million in the Williston Basin to drill 18 gross wells with one or two drilling rigs.

Halcon Resources Corp.
Roughly $400 Million
The Texas firm is actually lowering its 2014 drilling and completions budget by 14 percent to $950 million. But, by divesting conventional non-core assets, the exploration and production firm will add another $300 million to $400 million. Of the company’s core assets, the Bakken and Three Forks plays ranks as the largest portion of those assets on an acre basis.

Conoco Phillips
Roughly $3.5 Billion
In total, ConocoPhillips will spend nearly $9 billion in 2014 on its North American operations. Global investments will reach $16.7 billion. According to the company, 39  percent of its North American budget will be spent on the Bakken, Eagle Ford and Niobrara shale. The company will spend another 13 percent of its exploration budget in the Permian Basin and the Niobrara shale, but none in the Bakken.